In the center of your wheel is a hub. Inside of that hubs is a set of metal balls that are held together inside of a metal ring. This set of balls and ring is the wheel bearing for your vehicle. The wheel bearings have a very important job; they support the weight of your vehicle when you are driving.
The balls and rings, in order to work, must be held extremely close together. Regular driving can damage the wheel bearings, as can potholes and rough roads. Wheel bearings can last for many miles; however, they usually wear down before your vehicle wears down, which means you need to be aware of the warning signs that your wheel bearings need to be replaced.
Sign #1: A Grating Sound
You should pay attention to the sounds that your vehicle makes and be able to identify when your vehicle starts making unusual sounds. A bad wheel bearing generally makes either a grating or a grinding noise. The noise tends to get louder as you go faster. The noise will seem like it is coming from your wheel or tire. This is a loud sound that can be heard over the noise of your sound system if it is not cranked up too loud.
Sign #2: Less Responsive Steering
Next, when your wheel bearings start to get loose, it will impact your steering because your wheel bearings are attached to the assembly on your tires. When you are driving, you may notice that your vehicle is not as responsive to what you are doing with the wheel of your vehicle as it normally is. This can be tough to quantify, but you will notice that your vehicle just doesn't feel the same when you are driving and doesn't respond as quickly as it should.
Sign #3: Vehicle Pulling
In addition to not being as responsive as it should, you will also notice that your vehicle starts to pull. When you are driving, you may feel your steering wheel trying to pull in one direction or another direction. It will either pull to the left or to the right. For example, if you were driving straight in a line and let go of the wheel, your vehicle would drift in one direction.
It is important to note that your vehicle pulling to one side can also be caused by poor alignment.
Sign #4: Irregular Tire Wear
Finally, when your wheel bearings start to wear down, one of the first places that this will be apparent is your tires. The wear pattern on your tires will change when the bearings start to go bad. If you get your tires rotated with every oil change, this is something your mechanic may be able to notice when they rotate your tires.
If your vehicle is getting up there in mileage, it can be helpful to know the signs that your wheel bearings are going bad, so you can take care of the wheel bearings before any other issues are caused. Get in touch with a company like MyCarToys.US for more information.